For the first time in its history, ABC will broadcast all three days of the 2019 NFL Draft – including two nights of primetime coverage.
ABC will be the exclusive broadcast home of the event and will produce its own distinct telecast for the ABC audience, separate from ESPN and NFL Network, during the first two nights of coverage. For the second straight year, ABC will simulcast ESPN’s presentation on Day 3.
The prime-time draft specials on ABC will be anchored by ESPN’s College GameDay, college football’s longest-running pregame show. ESPN and ABC personalities and other special guests will be part of the multi-night ABC presentation. The telecasts on ESPN and NFL Network will continue to offer the expert NFL analysis that passionate NFL fans have come to rely on every year.
The 2019 NFL Draft is scheduled for April 25-27, 2019 in Nashville, Tenn.
“ESPN is constantly seeking opportunities to innovate and expand our coverage of major events and the NFL Draft is a perfect example of that. There is no better way to celebrate 40 years of working with the NFL to grow the Draft than to bring the considerable assets of The Walt Disney Company to Nashville,” said ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro. “With ESPN networks and platforms, and the addition of ABC as the exclusive broadcast home to the Draft, we will bring more resources than ever before as we introduce fans to the next generation of NFL players.”
“The addition of broadcast television for all three days of the 2018 NFL Draft helped to bring this important offseason event to even more fans and resulted in the highest rated and most viewed draft ever,” said Brian Rolapp, Chief Business and Media Officer for the National Football League. “We’re looking forward to once again broadcasting all three days of the NFL Draft and excited to have another member of the Disney family with us to help grow this event and showcase the future stars of the NFL.”
ESPN, which has presented the annual NFL Draft since 1980, will continue to offer a traditional X’s and O’s football analysis-themed production. Prime time coverage on April 25-26 will include the announcement of every pick, highlight packages for every player selected, expert analysis and more.
The ABC broadcasts will have an added focus on the personalities and backstories of the draft picks and the overall spectacle of the draft, including live musical acts.
“We are excited that the ABC stations will be the only broadcast home for every round of the 2019 NFL Draft,” said Brian Lawlor, Chairman of the ABC Affiliate Association and president of local media for The E.W. Scripps Company. “By collaborating with ESPN, we are ensuring all fans across the nation can enjoy live coverage of the drama and celebration around drafting pro football’s newest stars.”
For Rounds 4-7 (April 27), ABC will again offer a simulcast of ESPN’s NFL Draft presentation, with this year’s Day 3 coverage to include additional features and content focused on the drafted players and their backstories. ABC’s simulcast of ESPN’s coverage combined to set a Day 3 NFL Draft viewership record in 2018.
All 2019 NFL Draft telecasts on ABC/ESPN and NFL Network will be streamed live on an authenticated basis via the ESPN App and NFL app, respectively. The draft will also be covered across all three days by ESPN Radio and in Spanish on ESPN Deportes and ESPN Deportes Radio.